Biodiversity Activist #319
ACRES PROTECTED FOR HAWAIIAN SNAIL
In keeping with a court
order won by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service designated 4,479 acres of critical habitat along 12.3 stream miles for
Newcomb's snail on 8-20-02. Six to seven thousand Newcomb's snails inhabit six
fast-flowing streams and associated springs, seeps and vertical-to-overhanging
waterfalls on the island of Kauai.
Hawaiian river systems have
been degraded and destroyed by plantation irrigation systems which divert hundreds
of millions of gallons of water per day, often leaving streams entirely dry.
Hydropower dams divert over ninety million gallons a day.
The case was argued by David
Henkin and Kapua Sproat of the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund (Honolulu).
NEVADA LOGGING CHALLENGED
On 9-30-02, the Center for
Biological Diversity and Earth Island Institute filed suit to stop a 1,700 acre
salvage timber sale on the Eldorado National Forest. Ignoring scientific research
published in peer-reviewed journal by Center biologist Monica Bond, the Forest
Service dropped logging restrictions in two California spotted owl habitat areas,
claiming that a forest fire had rendered the areas unsuitable to owls. Bond
studied owls on the Eldorado National Forest for three years before publishing
a scientific article entitled "Short-term effects of fire on spotted owl
survival, site fidelity, mate fidelity and reproductive success" which
demonstrated that spotted owls continue to use burned forests.
The suit calls for consistent
application of Forest Service wildlife protection guidelines protecting trees
over 20" in diameter and challenges the agency's exaggerated claims of
tree mortality from fire.
The case is being argued
by Rachel Fazio of the John Muir Project.
For more information on
the CA spotted owl, click
TO PROTECT KOOTENAI RIVER WHITE STURGEON
The Center for Biological
Diversity, Ecology Center and Idaho Conservation League formally notified the
Army Corps of Engineers of their intent to sue the agency for failing to protect
the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon. The sturgeon has not successfully
spawned since Libby Dam became operational in 1974 because of a lack of large
spring flows and gravel riverbed, both of which are essential to the sturgeon's
reproduction. Fewer than 500 mature females remain in the aging population,
necessitating immediate changes in management of the dam.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service issued an opinion in December of 2000 ordering Army Corps to implement
a water management plan called VAR-Q by January 1, 2002. The plan, which was
developed by the Army Corps and is supported by the state of Montana, stores
water to create spring flows that will hopefully allow the sturgeon to spawn.
To date, the Army Corps has not implemented VAR-Q or taken other steps called
for by the Fish and Wildlife Service to save the sturgeon. If no action is taken
within 60-days, the groups will sue the agency for causing the extinction of
For more information, click
STOPS FINING POLLUTERS UNDER BUSH ADMINISTRATION
A study by U.S. Representative
Edward Markey found that EPA enforcement of environmental laws has dropped off
dramatically under the Bush administration. The agency's own data shows that
penalties for enforcement actions fell 80% in the first 14 months of the Bush
presidency, as compared to the same period of time in the Clinton administration.
Costs to polluters declined
from 845.1 million to 165.1 million from EPA actions, and settlements decreased
63%, from 234,000 to 87,000. Neglect of environmental regulations and oversight
leads to incentives for industries to pollute and harms the businesses that
comply when others avoid the costs incurred with pollution control. Lax pollution
enforcement dirties the air, fouls the water, and causes health hazards to the
families who live near polluting industries.
Representative Markey has
called on Christie Whitman, head of the EPA, to return to the stricter enforcement
levels of the Clinton administration, concluding that under Bush, it pays to
EVANS: ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER BATTLING CANCER NEEDS YOUR HELP
Nature has no more ardent
champion than Brock Evans. In battle after battle, he has freely contributed
his energy, creativity, and passion to protect our natural heritage. Brock is
now in his toughest battle. He has contracted multiple myeloma -- bone cancer
-- and it has spread to some soft tissue as well. The odds are tough.
Lance Armstrong faced similar
odds, and came back spectacularly. In his book, It's Not About the Bike, Armstrong
writes, "I don't know why I'm alive. I can only guess. I have a tough constitution,
and my profession taught me how to compete against long odds and big obstacles."
If there is anyone with a tough constitution, anyone whose profession has taught
him how to succeed against long odds and big obstacles, it is Brock Evans.
In this fight, however,
Brock absolutely needs a form of ammunition that he has often done without over
the years: money. His medical bills could exceed $400,000. Medicare will likely
pick up some, but the remaining gap will be wide. A dedicated attorney is trying
to get an insurance company to pick up some more -- but that is a slow, uncertain
struggle. And even if successful, a big gap will remain. Brock can't wait. If
he is to win this one, he needs to continue his chemotherapy and subsequent
stem cell transplants in the next few weeks and months.
One consequence of Brock
having chosen to devote his life to the public interest is that he does not
have large savings to draw upon in this difficult time. Brock is currently executive
director of the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC), and has purposely kept his
salary low so that all available funds could go directly into program. But,
now, he obviously does not want to go into an expensive medical treatment that
will leave his loving wife Linda entering her golden years impoverished. Brock
is a true hero. As a movement, we need to cherish and take care of our heroes.
In appreciation of Brock's
extraordinary value and contributions to the ESC and the entire environmental
community, the ESC Board has decided to give Brock a raise and has also established
"The Leadership Fund" to help maintain the high level of leadership
and productivity from its talented and irreplaceable executive director. Thanks
to YOU, Brock will finally get the raise he deserves, and the ESC can maintain
its high level of productivity from all its staff. At this point in history,
we need strong leadership from the ESC to prevent species extinctions and protect
valuable healthy habitat. Contributions to "The Leadership Fund" are
fully tax-deductible. Pitch in now! Please send your contributions to either:
The "Endangered Species
Coalition Leadership Fund" at: 1101 14th Street, 14th Floor, NW, Washington,
D.C. 20005; or via the internet at: www.stopextinction.org.
Then, please forward this
letter to everyone you know who knows Brock. Better yet, re-write it yourself
and post your version to every Listserv you can access. Don't postpone this
one until tomorrow. Time is short.
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